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Diet, height and weight

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Dutch clinics are reasonably commonsensical about children's growth in general, which means that they tend to do the following. Make sure that they do!

  • They don't weigh very young babies too frequently; visits are about every month in the beginning, which gives infants time for growing in fits and starts, as they do.
  • They do ask about the child's general development and well-being rather than focusing on length/weight alone. If the eating, drinking, excreting, sleeping, gurgling and wriggling are going OK then the weight gain and growth are probably fine.
  • They do follow a child's own growth curve rather than worry too much about whether it's above / below average, unless there's a dramatic change.
  • They do check with you about heredity and relatives who are an unusual shape in any way.
  • They don't concern themselves with minor fluctuations in growth, or with children who are around the edge of the curve but still within / close to normal ranges.

As in all other instances, talk about any doubts or queries you may have with your CB-arts so that you are both clear when there is an issue and when there isn't.

Overweight and underweight

If your infant's growth really does a big wiggle in either direction, the clinic will devote a little more attention to you and may ask you back for an extra weigh-in to check. The follow-up, if needed, will be along the lines of lifestyle discussions and referral to a specialist such as a diëtist , dietician, for your baby or possibly (if breastfeeding is still involved) also yourself. Obesity is becoming an issue in the Netherlands , just as in all European countries, and it is something your clinic will keep an eagle eye on.

Height and hormonal stimulation / limitation

If your child's growth is at the extremes of very short or very tall, the clinic will refer you (via your huisarts , of course) to the relevant specialist. In the first instance a paediatrician will monitor growth more closely.

If your child is deemed 'too small' (meaning very limited projected adult height) then s/he may be put on a course of drugs to encourage growth; these drugs generally need to be taken up to puberty. If your daughter is likely to be excessively tall, a hormonal treatment can be given which essentially starts puberty early and thus arrests growth. For boys things are slightly more complicated, as in the normal course of events the hormonal changes of puberty does not act as a brake on growth for boys as it does for girls. Refer to your GP for details of how these decisions are taken and the processes involved. These things are not rushed into and there is much careful monitoring and discussion before action is taken.

  Preventative side



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